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I am usually very, very weary of movie adaptations of literary classics. – For example, ust look what has been done to Ivanhoe on a regular base, the swashbuckler starring Robert and Liz Taylor still being the best movie ever done from the novel. And that movie was as far from the novel as I thought possible. Then. Heh.

This weariness comes from the apparent reluctance of modern directors to respect the source material: “Juicing up” classic themes a lamentable trend, with classic novels being the most prominent victims, Treasure Island being only the most recent example.

So, it’s worth more than a passing mention when there’s a movie that not only successfully adapts a novel without substantially altering the plot. Especially when it’s a novel I consider as unfilmable as The Monk, by Matthew Lewis.

Let’s put that into perspective: The one, defining book of early Gothic Fiction, except for Walpole’s Castle and Frankenstein, just had a movie done on it. And it is brilliant!

I will spare you the cinematic analysis, though. What remains is that we have a movie from a book that Coleridge read, and reviewed. A movie that is reasonably close to the 200-year-old model, and thoroughly watchable. Just from a classroom perspective, this is already huge.

…More later.

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